Musicians from Palaver Strings will collaborate with Portland based Iraqi immigrants, Kifah Abdulla and Jawad Al-Fatlawi, to showcase the experiences of Iraqi immigrants in Maine. Kifah Abdulla, a poet and artist will share his personal narrative through spoken word, and Jawad Al-Fatlawi, an oud player, composer, and oud maker, will present his story through music. Palaver musicians will support the two performances with new arrangements of Iraqi songs and improvisational accompaniment. At a time when immigration policy is at the forefront of our national politics, Palaver Strings humanizes the conversation by providing an artistic platform for the stories of immigrants in Maine, emphasizing the uniqueness of each person’s journey as well as the connections and commonalities we all share.
This program is a segment of a greater presentation and tour, co-produced by the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center and Palaver Strings in 2019, which will engage and celebrate music and stories from Iraq, as well as other immigrant communities in Maine. The musicians, speakers, and artists involved will travel to several rural Maine towns to present the true experience of both new and settled immigrant communities. This program will prompt the audience, artists, and musicians to reflect on their own journeys and the quickly changing climate of the population in Maine.